December 7, 2015
Parents, you feel the pain your child feels every time they come home and tell you that it happened again. “Mommy, I don’t want to go to school." She’s being bullied and it breaks your heart.
Here are some tips that might help:
Step 1. Open the lines of communication,
This can be tricky, unfortunately kids are great at hinding things from mom and dad. I recommend watching the movie Inside Out. Pay attention to the deeper message in the movie that speak to our core beliefs, memories and personality traits that form as a result. This will allow you to talk freely about feelings.
Step 2. Allow your little one to mourn.
They need to grieve that fact that they have lost something, like feeling safe at school. You can help them by grieving alongside them. Tell them how you are feeling, sad, angry, frustrated. A good story about your own experience will help as well. Let them feel angry; it’s the right response to wrong but don’t let them stay there. Again the movie Inside Out demonstrates the importance of allowing your true feelings to have a voice even if those feelings don't always feel so good like sadness.
Step 3. Teach them that they can take their power back.
They need to know who they are and be absolutly proud of themselves no matter what others say or do. When they know how powerful and wonderful they truly are then they can choose how to think, feel and deal with what a bully says and does.
Teach them how to recognize the lies behind the words and actions and tell them not to believe or recieve the negativity. Teach them not to think about the awful things they have said over and over again. Help them take control of their thoughts and learn how to take back their power.
Do this by:
A. Using Affirmation statements - celebrate being themselves. Have them create a personal power statement like “I’m the original me, corky and funny, a shy crazy hair girl with a kind heart, proud to be a nerd, a chucky and funky chick with amazing dimples in my cheeks.”
B. Remember self esteem starts with a strong sense of self. It's key that we help them feel confident about themselves. They need to learn how to love themselves completely.
Step 4. Help them develop Empathy
Part of taking back your power is having empathy for the bully. Help them to understand what goes on in the mind of a bully. The bully who calls someone ugly for example usually sees the world from an ugly place and they are usually speaking and acting from a broken heart. They are really seeing the world from a negative space and more then likely they've been taught to hate... It's poison in their system, don't allow your child to drink that poison.
Step 5. Create An Action Plan:
Teach your child how to resist the painful words and actions taken against them. Role play is a great way of ensuring your child is prepared.
Do this by:
A. Be aware that bullying can happen anywhere and at anytime be ready for it.
B. Give the child a special symbol that they will carry at all times, a ring, a necklaces or a rock to remind them of their power and your connection with them.
C. If they have a cell phone allow them to text you a code word (when they are free to do so) that will alert you of a problem. You text back your code word that reminds them that you care and that you are with them regardless of what they have to face.
D. Help them to remember that the bully is acting out from a painful place and it’s not their child’s fault. This takes the power out of the bullies words.
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